Disneyland Paris has encountered some harsh criticism for allegedly overcharging select foreigners. Apparently, the disgruntled tourists are contemplating suing the amusement park for multiple levels of discrimination and financial fraud.
The European Commission initiated an investigation into the allegations by a bunch of German tourists that they were significantly overcharged by Disneyland Paris, primarily because they were foreigners. As expected, Disneyland has strongly denied such practices.
The Commission was forced to initiate an investigation after it was presented with reports of several protests regarding the park’s alleged pricing malpractice, reported HNGN. Acknowledging the ongoing investigation, European Commission spokeswoman Johannes Kleis said as follows.
“The European Commission and European Consumer Centers frequently receive consumer complaints involving unjustified differences in treatment on the grounds of nationality or residence. We are currently scrutinizing a number of complaints, including several against Disneyland Paris.”
Dismissing the claims of overcharging foreigners, Disneyland Paris vice president Julien Kauffmann said as follows.
“Our prices are strictly the same everywhere in the European Union, apart from exchange rates. The only difference at any given time is linked to the fact we make special offers that are not necessarily the same, and not available at the same time in all European countries. Needs are not fundamentally the same in all countries. In Italy or Spain, we’ll more likely offer packages including meals or free transport, while in France — where people often arrive in their own cars — we will offer the same discount applicable to a hotel room.”
According to Financial Times, Disneyland Paris charged locals, French visitors, 1,346 euros ($1,487) for a premium package. While this might seem steep, complaints indicate British visitors had to shell out 1,870 euros for the same package. While this might seem preposterous, the German tourists allege they had the worst deal and had to pay a whopping 2,447 euros if they wanted the same experience as the French and British.
A slight difference in pricing is to be expected, considering the varying requirements, expectations, and planning of the visitors, both foreign and domestic, explained Kauffmann.
“An English (visitor) will reserve a holiday six months to a year in advance while with the French it’s four to six months ahead.”
But what has truly weakened the case against Disneyland Paris is that users allege prices vary depending on the language chosen, reported Vice News. If this is true, the prices are being deliberately altered and may benefit some, while severely penalizing others, for speaking a foreign tongue, said Kleis.
“These practices are discriminatory since, the pricing differences between various countries are not based on objective reason.”
If the allegations are proven to be true, Disneyland may face charges of discriminatory pricing against foreigners and be penalized accordingly.
[Image Credit: Thomas Samson / Getty Images]